A Review of Hush Hush by Laura Lippman

Hush Hush (Tess Monaghan #12)

by Laura Lippman

I had heard good things about the Tess Monaghan series, written by Ms. Lippman; and had always planned to read some of them; so when eldelweiss.com offered Hush Hush, I jumped right on it.

Hush Hush is quite far into the series, so I thought that it might be difficult to start with it, but it really wasn’t too bad. There were a few puzzling references, and some characters seemed rather flat, but reading some of the earlier books will bring me up to speed. I will be putting a couple of them on my TBR list; any suggestions?

This book seems like a “mommy book”. What I mean by that is that all of the major events revolve around the care of young children, not that this is only a book for mommies. The main back-story has to do with the death of a colicky baby. She died when her mother, Melisandre Dawes, left her two-month old daughter in a car seat, in a closed-up car, parked in the sun, in the middle of August. The mother was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity. She has been out of the country for 12 years, but comes back, and wants to become involved in her children’s lives. Her ex-husband isn’t too happy about that. He has remarried, and has a new family, with his two older girls, and a new son.

Hush Hush had enough action and plot twists to keep me interested. It throws a few Red Herrings in too, just to keep you off-balance. I was never quite sure how it was going to end.

One of the interesting things about this book was the way Tess Monaghan’s life reflected the author’s. I think that the birth of Ms. Lippman’s child had a lot to do with her writing in this novel. A young child can change your life, and I think it changed her life and her outlook on life, which then changed her writing. In a good way!

I give Hush Hush 4 Stars out of 5 and recommend it to Tess Monaghan fans and anyone else who is looking for a new series to get started reading. If you have any recommendations for earlier books in the series, please leave me a comment below.

Book Description

Hush Hush by Laura LippmanThe award-winning New York Times bestselling author of After I’m Gone, The Most Dangerous Thing, I’d Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know brings back private detective Tess Monaghan, introduced in the classic Baltimore Blues, in an absorbing mystery that plunges the new parent into a disturbing case involving murder and a manipulative mother.

On a searing August day, Melisandre Harris Dawes committed the unthinkable: she left her two-month-old daughter locked in a car while she sat nearby on the shores of the Patapsco River. Melisandre was found not guilty by reason of criminal insanity, although there was much skepticism about her mental state. Freed, she left the country, her husband and her two surviving children, determined to start over.

But now Melisandre has returned Baltimore to meet with her estranged teenage daughters and wants to film the reunion for a documentary. The problem is, she relinquished custody and her ex, now remarried, isn’t sure he approves.

Now that’s she’s a mother herself—short on time, patience—Tess Monaghan wants nothing to do with a woman crazy enough to have killed her own child. But her mentor and close friend Tyner Gray, Melisandre’s lawyer, has asked Tess and her new partner, retired Baltimore P.D. homicide detective Sandy Sanchez, to assess Melisandre’s security needs.

As a former reporter and private investigator, Tess tries to understand why other people break the rules and the law. Yet the imperious Melisandre is something far different from anyone she’s encountered. A decade ago, a judge ruled that Melisandre was beyond rational thought. But was she? Tess tries to ignore the discomfort she feels around the confident, manipulative Melisandre. But that gets tricky after Melisandre becomes a prime suspect in a murder.

Yet as her suspicions deepen, Tess realizes that just as she’s been scrutinizing Melisandre, a judgmental stalker has been watching her every move as well. . . .


Book Details


Series: Tess Monaghan Novel (Book 12)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: William Morrow (February 24, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062083422
ISBN-13: 978-0062083425
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
List Price: 26.99 USD
BISAC1: FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
BISAC2: FICTION / Thrillers / General
BISAC3: FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General


About the Author

Photo by Jan Cobb
Photo by Jan Cobb

Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor’s Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association.

Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade. After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light.

Ms. Lippman returned to Baltimore in 1989 and has lived there since. She is the daughter of Theo Lippman Jr., a Sun editorial writer who retired in 1995 but continues to freelance for several newspapers, and Madeline Mabry Lippman, a former Baltimore City school librarian. Her sister, Susan, is a local bookseller.



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